RN exchange with Hawaii

Nurses General Nursing



Hawaii is spectacular, tranquil, exotic, ancient, mystical and spiritually healing. A well known lore to the locals is that the island must choose you; you do not choose the island. I was thankful that the Aina (land) extended her hand to me, but I wondered why. There are only three small hospitals on the rural, Big Island of Hawaii. Staffing is heavily supplemented by travel nurses, graduate nurses depart to the mainland after initial training and a unionized nurse workforce make it more economical to hire travelers, according to locals. Travelers are paid relatively low wages and companies often espouse the attitude 'you are paid with sunshine here in paradise.'

Hospital equipment in some areas is antiquated and staff nurses do not have access to the knowledge base that is an essential part of nursing I encountered at the Texas Medical Center. Learning is stagnate for nurses that are seeking new knowledge for evidence based practice at the bedside. During my clinical rotations at TMC hospitals and work in a suburban ICU, the nurses were often bombarded with knowledge and PNAP growth opportunities. For both populations, burn-out is high and leaves many nurses emotionally and physically fatigued.

The realization came to me that there is a need for an exchange program wherein Hawaii RN's could obtain up-to-date, hands-on cutting edge skills/ knowledge and mainland RN's could share knowledge and skills while obtaining a "refresher" course in life; thus, the concept for PRN was born. During research, I found that Sigma Theta Tau has a model RN Exchange program. Any thoughts on this from RN's, educators, administrators? Mahalo

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